The Chase

Bucky Bitters struggles to escape the airborne affections of Derpy Hooves after a chance encounter caused them to bump noses together. His real mistake was trying to comfort the mare after the snoot-bump. Little does the poor stallion realise that their meeting was only the prologue to a journey that will change not only his life, but the lives around him forever.

This story is a sequel to The Catch


617. 617

“All equines are natural empaths. It is part of our herd behaviour. When we gather together, we instinctively know what is going on with the other equines around us. We can feel what others are feeling. When panic happens, it spreads through the herd. So does fear. We are all connected to one another. For some of us, like earth ponies and zebras, these connections seem to be much stronger, but we do not know why. There are many theories, many thoughts, but there is still so much more to learn. Harmony is having the herd move together, in one direction, as a whole. Disharmony separates us. A few individuals break free from the herd. These individuals are picked off by predatory forces and we equines all keenly feel their loss.”

Stargarden took a deep breath.

“Class, we are all sitting together on these cushions, close to one another, and I want you to think of one another. Close your eyes. Allow that sleepy feeling to take you, but do not sleep. Focus not upon yourself, but those around you. What are they feeling?”

Piña Colada felt a gentle squeeze on her fetlock from Larch, who was sitting next to her. She felt her heart skip a beat. Her other fetlock was being held by the new zebra student that had joined the class, Tabasamu.

“Yes class… continue to hold on to one another. Lean into one another. We all have empathy, but your gifts go beyond simple empathy. You are gifted… you are extraordinary… you have great minds… you are the next stage of evolution for the equine species as our empathy and our connection to harmony continues to grow… to strengthen.”

Her eyes closed, Piña Colada did not realise her hooves were glowing with a faint twinkling light. Without warning, her mind was filled with a confusing jumble of images. Bones. Dirt. A big stone building full of foals. An endless stretch of grass that ran from horizon to horizon and a collection of small domes. A little pink earth pony… Piña realised she was looking at herself, but from another pony’s eyes. A airship sailing over the ocean. She was staring at her own lips with a feeling of need and embarrassment.

Piña realised she was looking through Larch’s eyes and seeing Tabasamu’s memories.

With this knowledge came pain. Something behind her eyes thudded, like a door slamming shut. With a gasp and a cry, Piña fell over, her eyes rolling back into her head, and her connection was severed as she fell over backwards. Her fetlocks were pulled free from her companions.

The darkness was comforting.



“Thank you Sentinel,” Cloudstreaker said in a soft voice as the city council prepared to call their meeting to order. “It means a lot to me that you’re helping me. With the recent crisis, this has become a lot more interesting. I’m glad you could get us out of class so we can attend.”

Sentinel gave a grunt and nodded.

“Are we friends?” Cloudstreaker asked. “I hope we are. I like you… as a friend.”

“Just pay attention and pass your class,” Sentinel replied. “Friends help one another.”

“I don’t have a lot of friends.” Cloudstreaker adjusted her glasses. “The pegasi were awful to your mother… she has bad eyes. But everything turned out okay for her. I don’t know what is going to happen to me.”

“Things are changing,” Sentinel said as he prepared his notebook and his pencil.

“Maybe, but the teasing still hurts me and Rumble keeps getting into fights. Not my fault I can’t see very well.” Cloudstreaker looked at the lunar pegasus beside her.

“You have friends.” Sentinel glanced over and saw Cloudstreaker had glassy, reflective eyes behind her lenses.

“I have a few friends, but I don’t feel accepted. Getting called ‘four eyes’ hurts.”

“Look, most foals and even most adults are stupid, okay? You can’t pay them any attention. I wear glasses too… they look like regular glasses but they keep the bright light from burning my eyes… I’m aware of the comments, but I don’t pay them no attention. Just… ignore them!” Sentinel became aware that quite a number of adults were looking at him now. His lip curled back. “What are you looking at? Never seen a friend comforting another friend before?”



“Look at this…” Berry Punch tossed down a newspaper on the bed.

Swiping it with her hoof, Derpy picked it up without having over to roll over. Still laying on her back, she lifted the paper and held it above her face. “What am I looking for?”

“Front page,” Berry replied.

“Elements of Harmony charm Tradewinds, sees formation of new harmony clubs,” Derpy said, reading the headline out loud, her bad eye winked shut. “Princess of Friendship, Twilight Sparkle, and her friends, the Elements of Harmony, have become the newest celebrities in the Sea of Grass…” Derpy fell silent and stared at the paper, her good eye moving back and forth as she read.

“I mean, look at it. Think about it. There are a whole bunch of little fillies and little colts pretending to be their favourite Element of Harmony and going out to do good deeds in their community… why hasn’t this happened here at home?” Berry flopped down on the bed beside Derpy.

“That’s a good question,” Belisama said as she changed Bandua’s diaper.

“Twilight Sparkle has been asked to speak in front of a crowd that is likely to number in the tens of thousands… I hope the pressure doesn’t make her snap… I bet this is going to be one of the most important moments in her life. She has been asked to make a speech on the importance of making friends.” Berry Punch reached over Derpy and pointed to the section in the paper.

“They’re asking Twilight to come to the Shetlands,” Derpy said.

“The United Isles,” Berry said. “I was there when it changed… wow… I just realised how important that moment was… the place where my kith and kin come from…”

Derpy set the paper down, turned her head, and looked at Berry. “Everything has changed, hasn’t it? All the hard work that Bucky and Twilight have done… everything that they have suffered for… it’s paying off, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, but Bucky isn’t getting any credit for it.” Berry Punch made a berry sour face.

“We can reward him.” Derpy nudged Berry. “The world is finally changing for the better.”

“The griffons are finally seen as heroes instead of villains. The world shows signs of unity. You can pick up the paper and read about good things happening.” Belisama picked up Bandua and hugged her cub to her girth. “My cub is going to grow up in a better world than I did. That makes me happy.”



“Piña? Wake up Piña, you okay?”

Piña Colada blinked. Her eyelids felt heavy and her body sluggish. “What happened?”

“A bit of psychic whiplash. You’re fine, really, you are. Right now, you are in the school infirmary and Doctor Mawu will be by shortly.”

“I think Larch wants to kiss me,” Piña said in a sleepy voice. She looked up and saw Stargarden looking down at her.

“Yes Piña, you saw his thoughts. And Tabasamu’s thoughts as well. Your brain had a lot to take in all at once. You were overwhelmed.” Stargarden reached out and patted Piña. “Think of it as walking. You lost your balance and fell down. It is important that you get back up and try again. In time, you’ll get stronger and this won’t happen.”

Grunting, Piña sat up and shook her head, her cheeks flapped and her ears whipped around. She conked her skull a few times with her hoof to clear away the cobwebs. “I feel okay… I think.”

“Earth ponies… so durable.” Stargarden helped Piña up and then held up a plastic cup of water with a straw for Piña to drink. As the foal was slurping down water, Stargarden studied her student. “I felt what happened. You really are a tough little filly. I thought you’d be out for hours while your brain unscrambled. But here you are, bouncing back already. For all the gifts that the others have… you are exceptional.”

“I’m just an earth pony,” Piña said after she pulled her lips away from the straw.

“I want to give you some private tutoring, if I can have your permission.” Stargarden looked Piña in the eye. “Piña Colada… you have a great gift.”

“Is this gonna mean more homework?” Piña asked.

With a sigh, Stargarden nodded.



Loch Skimmer slumped down in her chair and felt a rising sense of panic. Something was wrong, that much was obvious, but she did not know what. She had been sitting in class, reading her assignment texts on field triage, and then this had happened.

She looked down at her flaming wings. They didn’t hurt or anything.The flames were a little warm but not hot, and they didn’t seem to be burning anything. If anything, the flames felt good, like warm summer sunlight on her wings. Reaching around with her front leg, she prodded her right wing with her left front hoof. Warmth, but not heat. The flames flickered but did not burn.

She looked up at Doctor Mawu with hopeful pleading eyes. The zebra shrugged but did not reply.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Doctor Mawu said. “In all of my time as a bocor, I’ve seen a lot of strange things. But this… this is one of the strangest. A burning pegasus that isn’t burning.”

“Do I have some new form of feather flu?” Loch Skimmer cocked her head and looked at the doctor.

The zebra shrugged. Doctor Mawu went to a drawer, rummaged around, and pulled out a box of matches. She returned to Loch Skimmer, sat down on the floor in front of her, pulled the box of matches out of her mouth, opened it, and pulled one out. Extending her hoof, she waved the match through Loch Skimmer’s flames.

Nothing happened.

Frowning, Mawu struck the match on the floor and lifted it. “Stick your leg out.”

“You’re going to burn me?” Loch Skimmer asked, her eyes wide with concern.

“Probably not,” Doctor Mawu replied.

Doing as she was told, Loch Skimmer stuck out her foreleg and held it over the match flame. She dropped it down, allowing the flame to touch her, and felt nothing. Loch Skimmer, who had been fearful, now felt curious. How had the fire not burned her?

Doctor Mawu blew the match out. “How odd.” She blinked. “Perhaps somepony is playing a prank on you. Have you crossed your sister Dinky lately?”

“Dinky would never play a prank on me… would she?” Loch Skimmer asked.

The zebra bocor shrugged, turned, and left. She went over to a supply cabinet and began looking inside. Muttering to herself, Doctor Mawu glanced at Loch Skimmer, shook her head, and then went back to looking inside of the cabinet.

“Never encountered a case of flaming pegasus before.”

“I’m burning, but I feel okay. I was feeling a little queasy earlier… been feeling a little queasy for the past week or so actually, but it passes and then I feel fine.

“Queasy?” Doctor Mawu turned and stared at Loch Skimmer.

“It’s put me off my breakfast… not to worry, I make up for it at lunch. The school cafeteria is awesome. No dirty dishes or cooking at home!” Loch Skimmer grinned.

The zebra returned to the supply cabinet and began to dig around. “You know, your little sister Piña was in here earlier. She gave us a bit of a scare.”

“Is she okay?” Loch Skimmer asked.

“She appears to be fine. I sent her home for the day with a doctor’s note for a little extra attention and a nice treat.” The doctor pulled open a box and stuffed her head inside. After a moment, she yanked her head out and opened a different box.

Loch Skimmer extended one charcoal grey-black wing and looked at the flames. The orange looked good with her dark colouration. “I wonder if Rising Star will think I look pretty like this.”

“I’m certain that Rising Star will be very surprised by your condition,” Doctor Mawu replied. The zebra began pulling boxes out of the supply cabinet and setting them on the floor.

“So… doctor… just what are you looking for?” Loch Skimmer asked as she watched the doctor make a mess.

“We have pregnancy tests in here somewhere, I know I saw them…”



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